Mukilteo Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By David Pan
Sports editor 

State title contender Straume leads young Knights


September 25, 2019

David R Pan

Kamiak senior Elli Straume swims the breaststroke during a jamboree at Kamiak High School. Straume was the 200 freestyle state runner-up.

Kamiak senior Elli Straume is off to a fast start in 2019.

The state-runner up in the 200-yard freestyle already has posted two state qualifying times in the 100 and the 500 freestyles during the Knights’ first meet of the season against Lake Stevens on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

“I want to get my state times earlier,” Straume said. “That’s the goal. I want to get as many as I can as quickly as I can. That way I can focus more on my training rather than my racing, so I can be prepared for the postseason.”

Straume will decide later on which individual events she will focus on, but she’s leaning toward the same events as last season – 200 and 500 freestyles.

At last year’s 4A state championships, Straume placed second behind Skyline senior Sarah DiMeco in the 200 freestyle and was third in the 500 freestyle behind DiMeco and Newport senior Yulia Groysman.

“I’m definitely going to do the 200. That’s my best event,” Straume said. “It’s kind of a sprint and kind of a distance event. It’s a middle distance.”

Straume also is considering the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.

Straume made a verbal commitment to swim for Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, during the first week of August. She had previously taken a recruiting trip there and liked the school. Straume had planned to take two more recruiting trips this fall but then received a telephone call from a Sun Devils assistant coach, who extended an offer.

Straume said that settling on her post-high plans is a huge relief.

Swimming in college has been a longtime goal of Straume’s.

“You have all the stress on you. Now that it’s gone, it’s kind of different,” Straume said. “There’s less pressure about college stuff. It’s more fun when I race instead of stressing out about school.”

Kamiak coach Chris Erickson noted that the season is still early but Straume is putting in the necessary work.

“She is positioning herself for another top three finish in whatever events she chooses,” Erickson said.

Also back for Kamiak are Grace Hatscher and Sophia Ryu, who both competed at state.

Hatscher was part of the Knights’ 200 freestyle relay team that finished second and also was on the 400 freestyle relay squad. Ryu advanced to the 100 breaststroke consolation finals and was a member of the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay teams.

The graduation of Song-Nhi Vo and the loss of Ava Collinge, who likely is out for the season with an injury, means big changes for 200 freestyle relay.

“Nothing is set in stone yet,” Straume said. “We might do the 200 medley or 400 freestyle. We don’t know yet.”

Kamiak is dealing with an influx of newcomers, ranging from freshmen to even some seniors.

“Almost half our team is new,” Erickson said.


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